Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.03 Environmental groups take aim at Pat Toomey over carbon pollution [Better too late than never!]

09.03 How China Is Taking Major Steps to Control Shipping Air Pollution

09.03 Bill to divest state's public pensions from coal heads to Gov. Jerry Brown [Better too late than never!]

09.02 In Alaska: Too Many Fires, Not Enough Snow

09.01 Up to 90% of seabirds have plastic in their guts, study finds

09.01 A Lot of American Catholics Have Never Heard of Pope Francis' Most Important New Message [Why?]

08.31 Nature's last refuge: climate change threatens our most fragile ecosystem

08.31 Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars

08.31 Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin

08.31 Why a Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

08.31 Why a Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

08.31 Eni discovers largest known gas field in Mediterranean [will encourage replacing coal power plants faster]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.03 Republicans vs. the Constitution: Would-be presidents endorse Kim Davis’ brazen illegality

09.03 Selling plasma to survive: how over a million American families live on $2 per day

09.02 Bernie Sanders Lays Down 2016’s New Electoral Math

09.02 Video shows Texas officers shooting man who appears to have his hands up

09.02 Georgia police shoot man and kill his dog after responding to wrong house

09.02 ‘Hillary 2016’ Has Never Made Sense for Democrats

09.01 Bernie Sanders’s Surge in Iowa from Attractiveness of His Ideas: Poll [3:42 video]

09.01 The West Point Professor Who Contemplated a Coup

09.01 Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration

09.01 Paranoid history of the GOP: How conspiracy theories poisoned the Republican Party

09.01 Walmart Decides to Drop Sale of AR-15 Assault Rifles [sanity happens!]

09.01 Sen. Warren's Criticism Of Joe Biden Complicates Vice President's 2016 Plans

Justice Matters

09.02 Special report: How US police turn drivers into moving targets

09.02 Ex-police chief who shot unarmed black man avoids jail with plea deal

09.01 Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities

High Crimes?

09.03 US Special Forces May Have Gone On a Murder Spree in Afghanistan—Did the Army Cover It Up?

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.03 Quantitative Easing for People: The UK Labour Frontrunner’s Controversial Proposal

09.03 US Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry [A scary summary. We must find smart ways to minimize public costs/deficits and debt at minimum public expense. Single-payer healthcare and pensions are obviously part of the solution. And Wall Street must be made aware that they now stand on their own. Public banks are obviously required too to end paying debt interest to private banks.]

09.03 Fossil Fuel Executives Are Making Obscene Amounts of Money for Wrecking the Planet—and Their Own Companies

09.02 Robert Reich: Economic redistribution isn’t enough

International

09.03 Neo-Nazi Arsonists: Officials Concerned by Growing Far-Right Networks

09.03 Hengameh Golestan’s best photograph: Iranian women rebel against the 1979 hijab law

09.03 Migration crisis: Hungary PM claims Europe is in grip of 'madness' [1:00 video]

09.02 10 Responses to Iran-Deal Skeptics

09.02 Gaza could soon become uninhabitable, UN report predicts

09.02 Migration crisis: bid for united EU response fraying over quota demands [0:52 video]

09.02 Rob Ford and Canadians dismiss Scott Walker's 'off-the-wall' border idea

09.01 Dark Germany, Bright Germany: Which Side Will Prevail Under Strain of Refugees? [Atheists more welcome]

09.01 Dark Germany, Bright Germany: Which Side Will Prevail Under Strain of Refugees?

09.01 A predictable warmonger: Dick Cheney name-checks Hitler & launches credibility-free attack on Iran deal

09.01 What the Arrest of Two Journalists Tells Us About Turkey—and Vice

09.01 Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration

09.01 How Christchurch used the earthquake to return the city to its cycling roots

09.01 Mr. Erdogan’s War Against the Kurds

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Iraq: Raped ">
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Iraq: Raped

An Illegal War Degenerates

By RAED JARRAR
A few months ago, Abir Al-Janabi was just another 14-year-old Iraqi girl in a small town called Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. Both of her parents are from the Al-Janabi tribe, one of the biggest tribes with Sunni and Shia branches.

Omar Al-Janabi, a neighbor and relative, was informed by Abir's mother that the young girl was being harassed by U.S. soldiers stationed in a nearby checkpoint. That is why Abir was sent to spend the night in her neighbor's home. The next day, Omar Al-Janabi was among the first people who found Abir, with her 34-year-old mother Fakhriyah, her 45-year-old father Qasim, and her 7-year-old sister Hadil, murdered in their home. Abir was raped, killed by a bullet in her head, and then burned on March 12, five months before her fifteenth birthday.

Muhammad Al-Janabi, Abir's uncle, reached the house shortly after the attack as well. Iraqi police and army officers informed him and other angry relatives that an "armed terrorist group" was responsible for the horrifying attack. This is exactly what the angry relatives of the 24 Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha four months before this incident had been told as well. In that case, U.S. officials initially claimed that a roadside bomb planted by terrorists had killed the 24 Iraqi civilians and one U.S. soldier in Haditha, but the Iraqi people knew that it was the Americans.

Unlike the case of Haditha, where Iraqi public opinion was furious about the massacre months before it reached to the U.S. mainstream media, the Iraqi press had not even heard of Abir until the U.S. army accidentally found out information about her while investigating another incident. This raises questions about the number of other similar cases that were never investigated and were blamed on non-occupation parties instead.

According to Iraq Body Count, a credible project documenting Iraq's civilian casualties, the occupation armies are directly responsible for killing more than one fourth of civilians in Iraq since the beginning of the war. This makes the assumption that Abir's case is just one of many even more plausible.

The "Hadji Girl" song is yet another indicator that what happened to Abir is most like not an anomalous case. "Hadji Girl" is a videotaped song about killing Iraqis written and performed by U.S. Marine Corporal Joshua Belile while he was at the Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq. The song became controversial a few weeks ago when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) discovered it on the internet and objected to its lyrics.

The lyrics, accompanied by loud laughter and applause, include lines as such as "So I grabbed her little sister and pulled her in front of me. As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally. Then I hid behind the TV, and I locked and loaded my M-16, and I blew those little fuckers to eternity. And I said Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad, Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah, they should have known they were fucking with a Marine". A two-week investigation held by the U.S. army ended with no punishment for Corporal Belile. Furthermore, according to the spokesperson for the Mike Church Show, Mike Church is planning to record and release "Hadji Girl" and give royalties to Belile. The right-wing presenter will sing and release the song on air this week.

But even if you believe that the case of Abir is a rare exception, it is still a major scandal in Iraq. Issues relating to honor are even more sensitive for the Iraqi public and government than the ongoing daily civilian murders. The first Iraqi governmental reaction came when an Iraqi female member of Parliament asked for an urgent session for which Prime Minister Al-Maliki was called back home to attend. The Iraqi Parliament described the rape as a crime against "the honor of all Iraqis". As a result, Al-Maliki asked for a review of the laws put in place by U.S. Ambassador Paul Bremer, giving foreign troops immunity from prosecution in Iraq. This seems to be an Iraqi public demand. Iraqi tribal leaders had a number of meetings across the country last week on the anniversary of "Thawrat Al-Eshrin", the 1920 revolution against the British occupation. The largest meeting was that of the mostly Shia Middle Euphrates Tribes. During this meeting, they threatened to initiate a full-scale revolution against the occupation, similar to what had happened in 1920, unless the U.S. army hands over to them all soldiers accused of raping the "Al-Mahmudiyah Virgin," as she is now known.

What is happening in Iraq is a rape of a nation, not just a rape of a 14-year-old girl, and it has to be stopped as soon as possible.
The uproar created in the wake of the death of Abir is but the culmination of over three years of pent-up frustration and rage the Iraqi people feel. It will only end with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. What is happening in Iraq is a rape of a nation, not just a rape of a 14-year-old girl, and it has to be stopped as soon as possible.
Published in the Baltimore Chronicle with the permission of the author.

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi living in the United States, is the director of the Iraq Project at Global Exchange. Jarrar can be reached at: jarrar.raed@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on July 12, 2006.
 


Public Service Ads: